3
votes

This summer I have picked up a lot of mint in my garden.
I have cleaned it and let it dry.

Now I have the habits to eat those dry leaves and making infusion very frequently (daily). I know there is a lot of Mint species and some might not be as good as other.

This may seem like a weird question but I was wondering if it was a good habit to consume that much of mint leaves (~30 40 a day), is there any reason I should reduce my consummation ?

EDIT:
Here is a picture of the mint :

peppermint

It look like simple peppermint to me.

Thanks in advance

3
  • Welcome to health SE :-). Is there any chance that you could tell which species of mint leaves it is? It would make looking for references (which are required here) much easier... It wold also be good to know how many leaves a day you eat? 1-2 or 20-30 or something in between? Thanks! – Lucky Sep 14 '15 at 16:41
  • Hello! Thanks :) After a bit a research it seem like it is simple peppermint. I have edited my answer with more details. – hg8 Sep 15 '15 at 12:55
  • I've been eating 40g of fresh mint leafs /day for 4 days straight now, feeling great ^^ – Jonas Apr 23 at 11:01
2
votes

Before the answer I owe you an apology - the Mint family is large, and aside from a large number of species, each has a number of varieties. Different varieties of the same species might have similar chemical composition and pharmacological effects, but look a bit different. The fact is, that I'm not 100% sure from your photo that it is Mentha x piperita that we are talking about (most of my sources state that it has pink flowers; leaves are a shaped a bit differently but this might be because the plant is young); still, it might be. Determining the species is tricky even for professionals in such plant families (I was hoping that you got the name of the plant when you purchased it/got it from someone to plant in your garden).

Nonetheless, I'll try to answer the best I can:


The only contraindications for using Mentha x piperita (Peppermint) leaves or Mentha arvensis pipericans (Japanese Mint) are gallstones, gallbladder obstruction or inflammation - because most members of Mint family have a cholagogic effect (stimulate bile production and excretion) so the patient might experience colic if they use mint leaves, and medical supervision of such use is advisable.

For Peppermint the average daily dosage is 3-6 g/day (PDR) or 4.5 - 9g of the herbal substance, for preparation of herbal tea, divided in three doses (HMPC, EMeA).

Another contraindication listed for Peppermint in monograph at EMeA is heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux) because the condition might worsen with the use of peppermint.

Other from these, there are no known health risks associated with the use of these species, in recommended daily doses.

For: Mentha longifolia (English horsemint), Mentha spicata (Spearmint), Mentha aquatica (Wild mint), PDR states:

No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.

However, dosages are listed only for M. aquatica as one wineglass per day of infusion prepared from 30g of leaves and 500 ml of water.

Mentha pulegium (Pennyroyal) is associated with hepatotoxicity (prolonged use can damage the liver). However, the plant in your photo doesn't look like M. pulegium to me.


I' recommend taking a sample of your herb to a local botanical garden if possible and asking for help with species determination there, just to be on the safe side. A somewhat less reliable option would be to post the photo of the plant on biology SE and see what they think of it (but determining the species of the plant from a photo is less reliable than with an actual sample).

As for the quantity - I wasn't able to find a reliable source for the number of leaves used, so the safest method might be to measure the quantity you use and see if it fits the recommended doses (or to measure the maximal daily dose and try not to exceed it).


References:

  1. PDR for Herbal Medicines
  2. European Medicines Agency Evaluation of Medicines for Human Use - COMMITTEE ON HERBAL MEDICINAL PRODUCTS (HMPC): COMMUNITY HERBAL MONOGRAPH ON MENTHA X PIPERITA L., FOLIUM
  3. WHO Monographs on Selected Medicinal Plants Volume 2: Folium Menthae Piperitae
2
  • P.S. Please do ping me in comments if it turns out that you have a different species there, and I'll try to edit my answer accordingly. – Lucky Sep 16 '15 at 7:07
  • Great answer! Thanks very much. As you stated the plant I took in picture in young, bigger one have purple flower. I will try to find the correct species and come back here. Nonetheless your answer give me a great overview on what to expect :) – hg8 Sep 16 '15 at 7:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.